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Compuscan, the largest independent credit bureau in Africa, to sell 60% to Actis in landmark transaction

By , ITWeb
29 Apr 2014

Compuscan, the largest independent credit bureau in Africa, to sell 60% to Actis in landmark transaction

CSH, the holding company for Compuscan, Scoresharp and Compuscan Academy is pleased to announce that pan-emerging markets investor, Actis, will acquire 60% of its ordinary shares. The acquisition includes credit bureau businesses in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho and Uganda, as well as Scoresharp, a leading analytics company and Compuscan Academy, a specialist credit training company.

"We are excited about this deal as it represents major growth opportunities," says founder and CEO of Compuscan, Remo Lenisa. "Many countries in Africa are still without the necessary credit bureau infrastructure and there is huge potential in the emerging market credit services industry on the continent."

Actis plans to invest at least $100m in CSH, for the company and its management team to grow the business through acquisition and organic growth.

"This brings endless opportunities for our dedicated team to grow from strength to strength, providing world-class products and services to new and existing clients," says Lenisa.

The current management team at CSH will work alongside CSH's newly appointed Chairman Michael Jordaan, also the former CEO of South Africa's First National Bank and a leading figure in the African financial services industry, as well as Actis Africa Financial Services Lead, Ali Mazanderani, and Actis Director, Jonathan Matthews, to grow the business into new markets.

Founded in 1994, Compuscan is the fastest growing bureau in South Africa and one of the largest on the continent. Headquartered in Stellenbosch, with offices in Johannesburg, Windhoek and Kampala, it provides multiple credit data, decision analytics services and training, to over 3 500 clients including banks, telcos, retailers, microcredit institutions and insurers, across several countries including South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Uganda and Lesotho. The Data Analytics team in CSH operates under the Scoresharp brand and is headed up by Pieter van Heerden.

Van Heerden added: "We are excited about the opportunities that we will be able to unlock locally and on the African continent by combining our expertise with the backing and support of Actis."

Commenting on the Actis investment, Lenisa said: "This is not only a vote of confidence in the underlying business strategy of the CSH team, but a partnership to grow the business sustainably into the future. Actis's experience combined with its global footprint and sector specialisation, means that it is uniquely positioned to provide the necessary support to put the company on an upward trajectory."

Jonathan Matthews, Director in Actis's Johannesburg office, added: "Actis is backing an excellent and entrepreneurial management team led by CEO Remo Lenisa and we are delighted to attract Michael Jordaan to help build the brand and take it to the next stage of growth."

Only 5% of adults in Africa are covered by credit bureaux compared with 64% in OECD countries. Compuscan currently has representation in five African countries, with further growth on the cards. As a full service credit bureau it offers a range of comprehensive datasets which provide a holistic view of consumer and business information.

"We understand the immense value of quality data to the credit industry and the economy as a whole and have developed innovative applications to enable us to provide real-time access to accurate credit information, combined with technologies that support the implementation of best credit granting principles," commented Lenisa.

CSH provides credit managements services in three parts: as a credit bureau operator; providing credit scoring and data analytics; and as an expert credit training academy. The group also helps customers to make smart business decisions throughout the credit life-cycle, reduce credit risk and increase profits, while at the same time educating and helping consumers to prevent over-indebtedness and reckless borrowing.

Mazanderani commented: "There is huge potential in the emerging market credit services industry. Credit bureaux have the potential to reduce loan interest rates and decrease the number of non-performing loans, while increasing financial access, credit expansion and ultimately economic growth."

Lenisa said it would be business as usual following the transaction and that the team already had a number of acquisition targets on its radar screen.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals.

Compuscan is a full service credit bureau. Established in South Africa in 1994, Compuscan has become the leading provider of credit management solutions in emerging markets. The company currently operates in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Uganda and Lesotho. With over 20 years' experience in the operation of credit bureaus, Compuscan's highly skilled, knowledgeable and passionate group of directors, management team and staff have what it takes to provide world-class credit management services.

Actis invests exclusively in the emerging markets with a growing portfolio of investments in Asia, Africa and Latin America; it currently has US$7 billion funds under management. Combining the expertise of over 120 investment professionals on the ground in nine countries, Actis identifies investment opportunities in three areas: private equity, energy and real estate. Over 40% of Actis's investments are located in Africa with over $1.9 billion invested across 18 countries on the continent. Actis is proud to actively and positively grow the value of those companies in which it invests and in so doing, contribute to broader society.

Editorial contacts
Chrizane van Zyl
Marketing Communications Manager
(+27) 21 888 6038

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